Sacrament of the Sick

One of the distinctive characteristics of Christianity has always been that the elderly, the sick, and the needy are central to it.  Saint Mother Teresa, who cared for those who were dying in the gutters of Calcutta, is only one in a long series of Christian woman and men who have discovered Christ precisely in those who were marginalized and avoided by others.  When Christians are really Christian, a healing influence goes out from them.  Some even have the gift of healing others physically in the power of the Holy Spirit (the charism of healing). 

One can receive the Anointing of the Sick several times in one's life.  Therefore it makes sense for young people to ask for this sacrament also, if, for example, they are about to undergo a serious operation.  On such occasions many Catholics combine the Anointing of the Sick with a (general) confession; in case the operation fails, they want to go to meet God with a clear conscience. 

Many sick people are afraid of this sacrament and put it off until the last minute because they think it is a sort of a death sentence.  But the opposite is true: the Anointing of the Sick is a sort of life-insurance. A Christian who is caring for a sick person should relieve him of any false fear. Most people in serious danger sense intuitively that nothing is more important for them at the moment than to embrace immediately and unconditionally the One who overcame death and is life itself:  Jesus, the Savior. 

(Taken from YouCat)

Communal celebrations of this sacrament take place within the context of the celebration of the Eucharist throughout the English deanery twice a year.  This communal celebration is celebrated in various city churches, usually one of the three larger churches for people of all parishes who wish to receive this sacrament.  Announcements concerning this are always placed in parish bulletins at least 3 weeks in advance of the celebration.